Music Technology notes

This document covers a wide range of areas with in depth notes and labelled images. I hope you will find it useful.

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  • Created by: Axe Man
  • Created on: 26-05-14 15:00
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Music Technology Notes
A device that generates sound
Can manipulate sounds
Analogue and digital versions
Monophonic ­ One note at a time
Polyphonic ­ Many notes at a time
Additive ­ Adding sine waves together
Subtractive ­ Filtering partials of an audio
LPF ­ Lets low frequencies through
HPF ­ Lets high frequencies through
Band pass filter ­ Lets a certain range of frequencies through
Notch filter ­ Rejects a certain range of frequencies
Shelving filter ­ Applies equal gain change to frequencies beyond a user selected frequency
Attack ­ How quickly the signal initiates
Decay ­ How quickly it decays
Sustain ­ How long it holds
Release ­ How quickly it defuses
LFO ­ Low frequency oscillator
VCF ­ Voltage controlled filter

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Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
An electronic language that sends information to digital instruments (e.g.…read more

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Microphones and capture
Dynamic ­ Reliable and robust, withstands loud sounds
Condenser ­ Wide dynamic range, delicate but superior quality
PZM (Pressure Zone Microphone) ­ Placed on large surfaces, no interference by reflections
DI (Direct Input) ­ Plugging an instrument straight in via a DI box, avoids spill
Close mic ­ Placing microphone close to sound source, may produce proximity effect
Proximity effect ­ increase in bass frequencies due to close micing
Distant ­ Placing mic further away, lessens likelihood of clipping and picks…read more

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Delay based effects
Chorus ­ sound detuned and delayed by around 40ms
Phaser and flanger ­ combines two copies of the sound with one slightly delayed
Delay ­ stores and plays back sound after a length of time (echo)
Guitar based effects
Tremolo ­ rapid iteration of a single note (e.g.…read more

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Solving problems
Problem Solution
Distortion/wide dynamic range - Apply a compressor
- Adjust levels
No stereo field - Mix to stereo master
- Pan tracks
Poor balance - Multi track the recording and use faders to
adjust individual track levels
Muddy parts - Use EQ to remedy
- Position microphones correctly
- Use appropriate microphone
Little depth of field - Use reverb to add depth
- Use EQ to change position in mix
Plosive sounds - Use a pop shield
- Move away from microphone…read more

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Recording instruments
Grand/upright piano
Condenser microphone
One for bass and one for treble
Lid open
15-60cm from strings
Drum kit
Close mic each drum with dynamic microphones
2 condenser overheads
Cardioid pick ups
Close to each skin (15cm)
Acoustic guitar
Condenser microphone
Cardioid pick up
20cm away
Point where neck joins body or 2 microphones at fret board and sound hole
Electric guitar
Dynamic microphone
Close to speaker grill
Avoid proximity effect
Take amp off the ground or use DI
Bass guitar
Use a…read more

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Noise gate
A noise gate reduces the level of a signal that falls below a threshold
Threshold ­ the level above which signals are allowed through
Reduction ­ the amount by which the gain is reduced if a signal doesn't meet the threshold
Attack/hold/release ­ controls the opening, hold time and close of the noise gate
Look ahead ­ the gate pre-empts the signal and opens just before it arrives
A compressor reduces the dynamic range
Threshold ­ the level at which compression…read more


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